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cmb13 Offline OP
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PWG - I guess the Boston does sound better after the cleanout of the ears! They were really clogged. Interesting what you said about the difference between voice and other sounds in that condition.

Fidel - I do want to go this weekend and retry the piano. I laughed a little when you mentioned Living Pianos and thought you must be crazy, because I find their videos a little self-promoting, but then I just looked at their website and have to admit, they have quite a selection. Is Robert Estrin a respected pianist, and his showroom held in high regard? As to choosing his over a 100 year old, does the age bother you even though it has been nearly completely overhauled? The Mason And Hamlin and the Blüthner, among others, on his site do look good. Of course, it’s 3000 miles away from here.

Last edited by cmb13; 01/30/19 09:29 PM. Reason: Spelling

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Originally Posted by Fidel
I read that as the REVEREND Del Fandrich and wondered about a famous piano playing priest who builds pianos? Took me a few posts to figure out Del is no priest.

Father Fandrich has a nice ring to it! laugh ha


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It certainly does!
For those interested, here's a Knabe rebuilt bij Del Fandrich.
To me it sounds gorgeous.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwsecqbpl6k

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A "Golden Age" American piano built by one of the great firms (Steinway, Baldwin, M&H, Chickering) is going to be an entirely different experience than a modern piano, especially in the realm of tone color. That is, if the rebuild is done with care and respect for the past while trying to improve on some of the scale designs. If you are looking for BRIGHT and LOUD, you will probably be disappointed. If you go in with an open mind and ears, you might find yourself delighted by the range of tonal colors and expression available to you that are not present on your Asian-made upright.

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Originally Posted by WimPiano
It certainly does!
For those interested, here's a Knabe rebuilt bij Del Fandrich.
To me it sounds gorgeous.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwsecqbpl6k

It sounded beautiful to me as well.



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Originally Posted by cmb13
laughed a little when you mentioned Living Pianos and thought you must be crazy, because I find their videos a little self-promoting,


He sells pianos, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he's promoting himself. That's sort of the point wink

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cmb13 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by violarules
A "Golden Age" American piano built by one of the great firms (Steinway, Baldwin, M&H, Chickering) is going to be an entirely different experience than a modern piano, especially in the realm of tone color. That is, if the rebuild is done with care and respect for the past while trying to improve on some of the scale designs. If you are looking for BRIGHT and LOUD, you will probably be disappointed. If you go in with an open mind and ears, you might find yourself delighted by the range of tonal colors and expression available to you that are not present on your Asian-made upright.


No, I think I’d prefer softer and mellower, yet colorful (does that make sense?). I sometimes feel my Boston is a little too bright.


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Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by cmb13
laughed a little when you mentioned Living Pianos and thought you must be crazy, because I find their videos a little self-promoting,


He sells pianos, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he's promoting himself. That's sort of the point wink


Suppose so - and his stock seems pretty high quality.


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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by cmb13
laughed a little when you mentioned Living Pianos and thought you must be crazy, because I find their videos a little self-promoting,


He sells pianos, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he's promoting himself. That's sort of the point wink


Suppose so - and his stock seems pretty high quality.


I agree. Also, among his sales videos he has some purely informative videos as well. He seems like a pretty straight shooter to me; I've never heard anything negative.

Here's a funny story; I was piano shopping for a student. I started off looking at Japanese pianos with carbon fiber action and the salesman was extolling the virtues of CF actions, just how reliable and uniform they are. When I moved over to the more expensive German made instruments, the same salesman started trashing the CF, how new and untested of a technology it is and great Renner actions are. I've never seen this kind of BS with Estrin's videos. He lets the instruments speak for themselves, and gives what to me seems like an honest assessment (while still being a salesman).

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It is amazing how a good pianist can make a piano sing....all his pianos do sound good in his videos. He must really have a nice recording setup. Brings back home to the point that maybe I really need to hear that A3 with a proper pianist behind the keys!


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Originally Posted by cmb13
It is amazing how a good pianist can make a piano sing....all his pianos do sound good in his videos. He must really have a nice recording setup. Brings back home to the point that maybe I really need to hear that A3 with a proper pianist behind the keys!


Actually, I find most of his pianos sound fairly awful. The tuning is often off and the tone is dull, especially compared to the videos where Derek Vann at PianoWorks is playing.

Here's a really great sounding A-III from a few years ago.

Paul.

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Originally Posted by cmb13
. Is Robert Estrin a respected pianist, and his showroom held in high regard?


Yes. Robert is a good guy, tremendous energy and enthusiasm. The demo videos he does to sell pianos are a valuable reference for anyone looking to buy. And his educational videos are purely educational, an even more valuable reference for anyone looking to learn.


-- J.S.

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cmb13 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pyropaul
Originally Posted by cmb13
It is amazing how a good pianist can make a piano sing....all his pianos do sound good in his videos. He must really have a nice recording setup. Brings back home to the point that maybe I really need to hear that A3 with a proper pianist behind the keys!


Actually, I find most of his pianos sound fairly awful. The tuning is often off and the tone is dull, especially compared to the videos where Derek Vann at PianoWorks is playing.

Here's a really great sounding A-III from a few years ago.

Paul.


Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by cmb13
. Is Robert Estrin a respected pianist, and his showroom held in high regard?


Yes. Robert is a good guy, tremendous energy and enthusiasm. The demo videos he does to sell pianos are a valuable reference for anyone looking to buy. And his educational videos are purely educational, an even more valuable reference for anyone looking to learn.




The dichotomy!

That video is good, have to admit. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.....on my someday list.


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Additionally, a 1907 Steinway, if sent to the factory for manufacturing today, WILL NOT sound or feel like it did in 1907. It will sound and play much more like a 2018 Steinway. So the the whole "redesign" hullabaloo is simply baloney. It will be redesigned by Steinway...they didn't have "diaphragmatic" soundboards back then, they didn't have 17mm knuckle geometry back then, they didn't have 11mm wide hammers back then...etc. etc. Get the picture?

Pwg


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I thought i'd share this passionate email i got from a pianist that owns several pianos, since it's nice to read what experiences others go through with redesigned instruments.
-chris

Email:
" I have two Baldwin 9 ft concerts grands. One from 1937 original board and one from 1966 that was completely redesigned in 2011 using RCS design. You mentioned the tall ribs add a lot of weight to the assembly. The guys that rebuilt my piano used a very thin panel. About 8mm I think. The piano is fairly lively with good sustain but definitely not a power-house. It doesn't scream when pushed hard. I always thought that was due to the large cutoff bar that was installed. Anyways the 1937 is the louder piano with amazingly long sustain but it lacks warmth and fatness seemingly missing upper bass frequencies. I just acquired a 1986 7' Baldwin and it is louder than both 9' and very warm even with original terrible hammers. The soundboard just seems to give and give on that piano.

Someday when I'm in Tennessee I will visit your shop. I'm interested in lively boards that don't sound constrained."


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Originally Posted by cmb13
I looked at a Steinway A3 that the revered Del Fandrich had rebuilt about 10 years ago. It is in very good to excellent condition. However, it doesn't have all Steinway parts, so I guess that makes it a "Steinwas". Of course, Del has an excellent reputation...

A3's seem to be uncommon, if not quite a scarcity. The seller wants around $31k, but would go to the $20s. I played the piano, but wasn't blown away, but in all fairness I had an ear problem (clogged) that day...


Question: Have you ever been truly "blown away" by a piano that you have played? If so, what was it?

I am serious...your answer can help you in your search for the perfect piano.


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Yes..... from an earlier post (copied).....

Originally Posted by cmb13

I expected great touch, fantastic dynamics, awesome trills, and a beautiful sound. I went to Faust Harrison once, saw a restored Steinway L there, and that piano absolutely blew me away. It sounded almost magical. However, the salesman was a young professional, and I recognize that his playing may have been more influential than the specific instrument. That was about 2 yrs, ago, and I certainly was nowhere near good enough to judge for myself. And that piano cost twice as much as this one.


That’s why I really want to love this one.... it’s also a vintage golden age Steinway, also rebuilt, slightly more desirable model and more affordable. I would really like to tease out if the difference was the piano or player, which may be impossible, but that’s the $100,000 question!


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Of course since I am a competitor of his and some may take my opinion as self-serving, but I have played several Steinways that Mr. Del Fandrich has rebuilt with a suite of design modifications and never been impressed with the tone. They don't sound like Steinway's. They lack "fullness".

I've never played a Steinway rebuilt by Del Fandrich, so I can't comment on that. However I do play a Fandrich, and it has a very full, expressive sound. If that piano (which he put his name on) is an expression of his tonal ideas it seems strange he would be driving a rebuild in the opposite direction.

Not every piano turns out equal, even from the best rebuilders or the best factories. I've certainly played factory Steinways that were/are lacking.

About the parts chosen: Steinway hasn't used identical parts throughout their entire manufacturing history. In fact, some of the changes (remember teflon?) were so big it makes the "steinwas" marketing ploy almost laughable. I think the quality of parts, and the quality of workmanship is the bottom line.


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Update on the S&S A-3

I went back last weekend and played it again. I think I liked it a lot more. First of all, my clogged ears were unclogged.

I brought my sheet music book (I have a bunch of music that I printed and bound with coil binding - my personal repertoire book that I use for practice). I played through my current repertoire, which includes some Chopin Preludes, two Nocturnes, a Liszt Consolation, a Debussy piece, some Bach, Piazzolla, and a couple of random jazz lead sheet songs.

I initially played the grand like I play my Boston upright, which is fairly loud and bright; that is, I tend to play softly. I also tend to play softly so as to not annoy my family too much, as I play for an hour or two in the evening. After feeling unimpressed, I wondered what I could do to bring out some volume. I then began playing the Steinway with a lot more force, and it began to shine. The bass sounded much deeper and with better sustain, the treble rang more sonorously. Bottom line, I think that there's a learning curve on changing from one piano to another that I lacked the experience to notice at first. I was much happier with it when playing in this fashion, and think I may just need to get used to the fact that different pianos require different techniques.

My technician was going to take the 50 mile drive with me but cancelled at the last minute due to an unexpected illness, so I went alone. I FaceTimed with him, though, and he had me show him a lot of areas including where the strings meet the bridge, the pedal wires, etc and he had me play a few notes in unison (2 C's for example) to evaluate tuning. He has worked as a technician for years, and has worked for Steinway as well, so is well experienced. The seller, who is more experience than I, played a portion of a Beethoven Sonata for him. At the end, he felt it was in very good condition, nicely restored, and priced well.

I'm likely buying it. I like it, it's beautiful, and will likely be the best piano I can get at this price point and size. We are working on a redesign of the room right now, which should only delay me by a week or so.


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Hope you have a wonderful time playing Piazzolla on your new piano!


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